Trip Couch begins his first season as the director of player development with South Carolina baseball. In his role on the Gamecock staff, Couch assists with on-campus recruiting and mental skills preparation, is the liaison with the professional scouts and academic services and helps analyze scouting videos.
Couch comes to Columbia after spending seven seasons in his second stint as an assistant coach at the University of Houston. Couch served as Houston Baseball's recruiting coordinator and was responsible for coaching the outfielders and catchers and implementing the short game offensively. In addition, he coordinated the offense with Houston head coach Todd Whitting.
Last season, Couch helped the Cougars to an American Athletic Conference regular-season title with a 15-9 league record and a conference tournament title after going 4-0 in Clearwater, Fla., becoming the first Houston team since 2000 to win both championships in the same year. The Cougars notch their 14th 40+ win season in program history and third in the last four years with a 42-21 overall record.
Houston was rewarded for its strong play throughout the 2017 season by being named one of 16 schools to host an NCAA Regional at Schroeder Park. The hosting opportunity was the fourth time in program history and second in last three years for the Cougars.
Couch helped develop Jake Scheiner (Junior, 3B/SS) into a consensus All-American, as he earned the postseason honor by all six publications/organizations. Scheiner became the first Cougar to be named a consensus All-American since 2006.
As the recruiting coordinator, Couch was able to help bring in sophomore Trey Cumbie, who in his second season, was tabbed a First Team All-American by NCBWA and earned All-America honors by several other publications en route to being the first First Team All-American since Brad Lincoln in 2006.
Scheiner was named the American Player of the Year and Cumbie was tabbed the American Pitcher of the Year. That was the first time in program history the Cougars earned Player and Pitcher of the Year honors in the same season. The duo also earned First Team All-Region honors.
Adding to its success, Houston and Couch saw six Cougars named to American Athletic Conference Teams, while the Cougars hit 60 home run -- the most since 2006.
Connor Wong became first Cougar since Jake Stewart in 2008 to hit 10+ home runs and steal 20+ bases in a single season and Cumbie became the first 10-game winner for Houston since Austin Pruitt in 2013. Corey Julks ended his 2017 campaign riding a 25-game on base streak, while reaching base in 46 of his final 47 games as a Cougar.
Houston was ranked among the nation's Top 25 every week during the 2017 season. Off the field, baseball student-athletes posted their highest team GPA for a spring semester in program history with a 3.08 GPA. Houston also achieved highest cumulative GPA in program history during 2016-17 with a 3.11 GPA. 24 student-athletes earned a 3.0 Fall GPA, while 21 earned a 3.0 GPA in the spring.
Six Cougars were selected in the MLB Draft, led by four being drafted among the Top 10 rounds: Connor Wong (3rd) Scheiner (4th), Corey Julks (8th), John King (10th), Cumbie (38th), Cooper Coldiron (39th).
Couch helped Houston to another 35+ win season in 2016 as the Cougars notched a 36-23 overall record and their third straight appearance in the American Athletic Conference Championship game.
As the Houston recruiting coordinator, Couch saw the 2016 freshman class post arguably one of the best campaigns in program history. Three Cougars were named Freshman All-Americans in Joe Davis (1B), Mitch Ullom (RHP) and Cumbie (LHP).
Houston coached freshman Joe Davis to First Team Freshman All-America honors as well as American Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Conference and a Third Team All-American after leading the Cougars with 14 home runs, 79 hits and 58 RBI.
Five Cougars were named to an American Athletic Conference Team, led by four on the First Team in Davis, Julks (OF), Wong (UTL) and Nick Hernandez (RHP). Seth Romero (LHP) was tabbed a Second Team selection.
Off the field, the Cougars posted a 3.11 combined GPA for the program's highest cumulative GPA in program history. Senior Justin Montemayor was just one of three student-athletes in the entire athletics department that posted a 4.0 cumulative GPA in his final two semesters at Houston.
Couch saw three Cougars selected to the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft with juniors Andrew Lantrip and Nick Hernandez taken in the eighth round and Josh Vidales in the 28th. In 2015, Houston notched a 40-win season, tallying a 43-20 overall record and Couch played another integral role in the team's success.
Couch helped the Cougars to a regular-season conference title and to its 20th NCAA Regional appearance. Houston was awarded as an NCAA Regional host for the first time since 2000 and just the third time in program history as Cougar Field represented one of 16 host sites around the country.
Houston played in what was considered the third toughest league in the country and won the most conference games (16) since 2006 (18). The Cougars also advanced to the American Championship game for the second consecutive season.
As the recruiting coordinator, Couch saw the 2014-15 class ranked among the nation's Top 35, which featured three five freshmen who played significant roles during the season. Leading the way among those freshmen was Romero, who was named a Freshman All-American and American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year as he led the league with a 1.94 ERA. For his on-field success, Romero was invited to join USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team -- the second Cougar in as many summers to represent Team USA.
Seven Cougars earned American Athletic Conference honors -- the most by any team in the league as Survance paced the group as a First Team selection.
Off the field, Houston Baseball had 24 student-athletes carry a 3.0 GPA. The team notched a program-record 3.09 overall GPA for the 2014-15 academic year, while posting its fourth-highest spring GPA of 2.97. The Cougars had 100% in good academic standing and the student-athletes went on to pass an average of 13.9 hours during the season.
Couch saw eight Cougars selected in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft as RHP Jake Lemoine and RHP Patrick Weigel were drafted in the 4th and 7th Rounds, respectively. Lemoine became the highest drafted Cougar since 2009 and the duo joined Survance as the three became the first Cougar trio drafted among the Top 10 Rounds since 2003. Also selected were 1B Chris Iriart (12th), RHP Kyle Dowdy, RHP Taylor Cobb (26th), OF Ashford Fulmer (28th) and C Ian Rice (29th).
2014 marked a banner year for Couch and the Cougars as he helped coach Houston to a 48-win season, tying the program record in wins (2002, 2000), while also leading Houston to its first NCAA postseason appearance since 2008 and first for him as the leader of the program. Not only did Houston earn the automatic berth to the NCAA postseason after claiming the American Baseball Championship tournament title (a first for Houston since 2008) with a win over Louisville, the Cougars were awarded the No. 2 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional where they went on to defeat LSU twice at Alex Box Stadium in back-to-back games to capture the NCAA Regional Championship, earning a spot as one of the last 16 teams remaining in Super Regional play. Houston met Texas in the Austin Super Regional where they were defeated twice, falling two wins shy of Omaha.
With a record of 48-18 on the year, the Cougars were ranked nationally for 13 straight weeks during the season, polling in as high as No. 5 in the nation the week prior to the NCAA Super Regional.
As the recruiting coordinator, Couch saw nine Cougars earn All-American Athletic Conference honors, led by freshman Andrew Lantrip, who was tabbed the league's Rookie of the Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Montemayor and senior Caleb Barker were honored as First Team honorees, while sophomores Survance, Lemoine, junior Aaron Garza, seniors Casey Grayson, Chase Wellbrock were honored as Second Team honorees, joining freshman Connor Hollis as a Third Team selection.
Houston garnered numerous postseason All-Tournament team honors as Vidales and Survance led the charge with American Baseball Championship and Baton Rouge Regional Most Outstanding Player recognition, respectively. Aside from on-the-field success, the Cougars continued to showcase strong Academics, achieving the second highest team overall GPA in program history during the spring 2014. Eighteen student-athletes carried a 3.0 GPA or higher during the spring semester, which also marked the eighth straight semester Houston Baseball has achieved a 3.0 or better. Nine players were named to Dean's List in the Fall of 2013 and seven players in the Spring. Montemayor was tabbed a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, marking the second time in three years a Cougar has received national recognition for their efforts in the classroom.
Following Super Regional play, Couch was apart of a staff that saw five of their players drafted in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft as senior Casey Grayson (20th/St. Louis), senior Tyler Ford (27th/Detroit), junior Aaron Garza (29th/Milwaukee), sophomore Jared West (32nd/Cleveland) and senior Chase Wellbrock (33rd/Toronto) were taken.
In 2013, Couch was part of a Houston program that notched to its first 30-win season since 2008, posting a 36-22 overall mark and a 13-11 record in C-USA play. He helped coach junior Frankie Ratcliff to C-USA Newcomer of the Year honors, while freshman Justin Montemayor was tabbed as the league's Freshman of the Year. He saw Montemayor and fellow freshman Kyle Survance honored as Freshman All-Americans and watched senior pitcher Austin Pruitt drafted in the ninth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Also drafted were junior Daniel Poncedeleon (Rd. 14/Chicago Cubs), senior Matt Hernandez (Rd. 23/Los Angeles Angels) and junior Frankie Ratcliff (Rd. 40/Arizona Diamondbacks).
In 2012, Couch helped guide freshman Michael Pyeatt to Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors, while sophomore Landon Appling earned a spot on the C-USA All-Tournament Team. Seniors Mo Wiley (28th/862-Reds), John Cannon (29th/896-Dodgers), and Jared Ray (34th/1053-D-Backs) were later taken on their respective teams in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
In his first season at Houston, Couch helped the 2011 team to an appearance in the Conference USA Tournament Championship for the first time since 2008. Freshman Landon Appling went on to earn All-Freshman Team honors and senior Caleb Ramsey was named to the All-C-USA Second Team. Ramsey went on to be drafted in the 11th round of the Major League Baseball draft.
In preparation for his third season on staff, Couch was instrumental in the addition of 15 student-athletes to the 2013 roster.
Couch was a part of the Houston staff from 1995-2000. While on staff at Houston, Couch served as the team's hitting and offensive coach, recruiting coordinator and he also performed administrative duties, including travel and scheduling. He also served as both a first base and third base coach during his time at UH. Couch's teams still rank among the single-season leaders at the plate and the 2000 squad set a school record with 48 wins. Under Couch's guidance, the 1997 Cougar baseball team set school records in batting average (.327), runs scored (508) and hits (769), while the 2000 squad still holds the record with 157 doubles. The 2000 team saw 12 players drafted in the Major League Baseball draft, the most that season by any school in the nation.
As a member of the staff, Couch's teams qualified for three NCAA Regionals, an NCAA Super Regional and won two Conference USA regular-season titles and two C-USA Tournament championships.
Following his time at Houston, Couch served as an assistant at Texas in 2001, coordinating team travel, NCAA practice logs, and team scheduling, while performing duties as the first-base coach before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks as a scout in 2002. The Texas Longhorns also participated in 2001 NCAA Stanford Regional. He scouted in the state of Texas and Louisiana and oversaw all try-out camps in the territory. While with Arizona, Couch signed four players that have reached the Major Leagues.
Before joining the UH staff in 1995, Couch served as the marketing and promotions coordinator for the Cougar baseball and football programs in 1994. He was also assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette from 1991-92 and served as a student assistant and bullpen catcher for the Cougars from 1987-1990. While at Louisiana-Lafayette, the Ragin' Cajun participated in two NCAA Regionals.
Couch was a member of the Team USA coaching staff in 1999. He also served as coach at the Area Code Games as well as serving on the staff of the Pony Team at the Tournament of Stars where the 18U USA National Team is selected.
Couch is married to the former Tiffany Williams. The couple has two daughters, Chandler Gray, who currently is attending Ole Miss, and Kendall Blair. The family lives in Columbia.
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